Twitter ramps up chat bot offering for advertisers through software developed by Aussie agency

Twitter has moved to using chatbots as part of its AI marketing program, but the creator of the AI platform has warned that human’s need to stay at the heart of the evolution of AI.

Humans need to remain at the wheel in the development of AI

Dan Nolan: Humans need to remain at the wheel in the development of AI

Sydney agency Proxima is developing  the chatbot program, which has already been used by Unibet in a recent campaign to promote European football.

Dan Nolan, co-founder of Proxima, said the agency first started designing apps for events but realised at many events there were questions that were being asked repetitively and the system could be automated.

“‘We did a lot of ground work and realised people were asking questions over and over,” Nolan said.

The agency was working on the design of an app that had an AI feature that would handle common questions when they met up with Twitter’s head of business development for Australia and New Zealand, Jenny Goodridge.

“We gave her a run through of what we were working on and she said it was really cool and could we get it working on Twitter,” Nolan said.

“We spent a week or two getting it up and running in Twitter has been pushing it internally and we have been working closley with Jenny to roll it out to a couple of big Australian brands and we are doing a couple of pilots.”

unibetNolan said one of the keys to using AI to successfully carry out conversations was to be honest and up front about it, rather than trying to pretend the engagement is coming from a human.

“You need to be really honest with the people you are working with and you need to be honest with your customers,” he said.

“People get really pissed off if you tell them this thing isn’t automated when it is.”

He said development should not be allowed to become too automated in its own right.

“One of the reasons we take a hands-on approach, it’s like if you have got a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

“Everyone is working to automate all these different processes but it turns out automation doesn’t work for a lot of them, it works really well in a number of really specific cases. But in lot of ways the automation is there to relieve the strain from the actual people you have got dealing with your customers.”

The agency has already handled a campaign for Unibet which saw the chatbot respond to tweets featuring a hashtag with an answer to specific questions about when teams were scheduled to play.

Twitter also relied on the system on election day when people used it to find out what sausage sizzles, raffles and other events were on at nearby polling booths.


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